How to Use Summer to Lazily Gather PBL Project Ideas for Next Year

Now that you have found simple ways to integrate reflection into your day from my last 3 posts, and you are capitalizing on those practices to help you rejuvenate, it’s time to think about riding that reflection-rejuvenation wave into a relaxing summer!

Time away from the classroom is often the greatest gift for project planning.

This summer you can capture some great “outside the box” project ideas, with not much effort and ZERO planning. That’s right, all you have to do is open your mind and eyes to the world of project potential around you. Capture your answers to the following questions in a notebook or simply on the Notes app on your phone to set you up for an authentic project. Come back to this bank of project ideas when you are back to school and save yourself the most difficult part of the project planning process: knowing where to start!

Questions to ask yourself while on summer vacation:

  • What do people do outside of school walls? [think: industry, visitors, children…and even animals, nature too!]
  • What are people interested in/attracted to ? [think: what do people visit/see/experience]
  • What are problems you see in your community ? [think: traffic, trash, poverty, graffiti, etc.]

Being a PBL nerd, I can’t help but see project ideas EVERYWHERE I go! To be honest, I’m the worst on a vacation because my mind is clear from “the grind” and my creative juices are free and swarming with PBL ideas…it drives my family nuts! Here are my favorite places to find project ideas without even trying:

  • On vacation I pay attention to transportation, places of interest, and natural resources specific to geographic locations.
  • At restaurants or driving through downtown I get ideas for places to curate work in the community
  • At any sort of appointment I think about what people [“experts”] do outside of school walls…you know, in the “real-world” 😉
  • If I go to an amusement park or community point of interest with my kids, I pay attention to what they engage with and/or potential “problems” to be solved.
  • I try to think about my community like a tourist-what attractions would they want to see?
  • When I unplug with nature on a walk or hanging out at the beach-what kinds of things are going on? Again, are there problems to be solved?

I promise, once you start thinking like a project designer, you won’t be able to turn it off! It becomes inspiring and exciting and will fill you up to come back to school with a “full tank”.

Want even MORE project ideas? In August, I share 30 Days of PBL Project Ideas on my social media. Sign up for my newsletter to be reminded before it starts!